Obituary: David Cox

David Cox David Cox loved five-a-side football and had an 'impish' sense of humour

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David Cox, a team leader in Future Media's Television Platforms, tragically died at the age of 42 on January 24 when taking his children to school.

He was a software engineer by profession, specialising in digital television. After leaving university, he started his career with NDS in Southampton before joining Sony in Pencoed in April 2000.

Nick Howroyd, a colleague from the early NDS days and also at Sony, recalls how David had a passion for five-a-side football, describing him as calm, patient, with quick feet and swift thought, delivering the killer shot from the narrowest of angles, precisely calculated.

At Sony, David was a key contributor to many of the digital tv designs that were produced throughout 2000 to 2010. Sony colleagues remember him as a professional and, technically, one of the best.

David Williams recalls: 'When we had big issues to resolve, we would joke that we would give the other person two days to try and fix it, before we asked Dave to correctly resolve it - nothing was beyond his capability.'

He also remembers David's sharp wit and one-liners, always delivered with impeccable timing.

A pioneer

After leaving Sony, David joined the BBC in May 2010 as a principal engineer and soon became team leader responsible for our interactive broadcast services. He worked on many projects that brought joy to the British public including iPlayer, the Freesat interactive services and the Olympics.

Start Quote

He quietly got on with his work, cared deeply for the people he managed and provided excellence in service to internal teams and external organisations”

End Quote Neil Memmott Group Engineering Manager, TV Platforms

David was also a pioneer. He was part of the team that moved to BBC North from London and played a big part in rebuilding our team in Media City. He also worked with R&D to deliver new services to the audience, including support for 3D television trialled at Wimbledon and Strictly Come Dancing.

I will remember David as a specialist in his field who played a key role in helping shape a service loved by millions of people across the British Isles. He quietly got on with his work, cared deeply for the people he managed and provided excellence in service to internal teams and external organisations.

One colleague, Andrew, remembers when they worked together on the Sony iPlayer project. 'David was the voice of calm who kept the rest of us sane. He was respected, not least because he treated others with respect. I shall also remember that impish sense of humour, which was still there when I sat next to him ... last November.'

David worked closely with the editorial team, helping them set up the service for events and quizzes. Victoria from the team remembers David as the 'Fantastic Mr Cox' who to her team was a 'trusted and skilled ally on the technical side of Red Button.

'Beneath his calm, capable exterior lurked a calm, capable gentleman.'

In weekly conference calls, Victoria would always ask at the start: 'Is David Cox on the line?'

'I'd usually get a quiet murmur of assent,' she says, 'and this meant I could relax in the knowledge that nothing worrying would slip past.'

Finest moment

From speaking to Ruth (David's wife) and John (David's brother) it is clear that he loved his job and working for the BBC. His finest moment had to be enhancing the Red Button service for the Olympics to provide unprecedented choice of up to 24 tv channels. This allowed the public to never miss a moment of the games.

David was rightly proud of the reach and appreciation of his work and was touched by the accolades from the press and public. The Evening Standard ran a feature praising the service titled 'Red Button Olympics' with the picture of a finger pressing a huge red button in the centre of the Olympic stadium. This became the background screen to David's laptop.

David has left a big hole in our teams that will be hard to fill. We will be remembering David and his work by renaming the room set aside to test the Red Button. But we can all remember with a smile every time we press Red on our television, David Cox the calm, capable specialist engineer who had a great sense of humour.

Neil Memmott, Group Engineering Manager, TV Platforms

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